Graduate Spotlight: Collette Pilsworth

Collette Pilsworth

Hometown: Bradford, West Yorkshire, England

Graduate Research Focus:

My graduate research is focused on analysing the geochemistry and mineralogy of wall rocks adjacent to fractures within drill core around ore deposits. As a result of understanding the relationship between the wall rock and the adjacent fracture filling a much better understanding of element dispersion from ore bodies can be understood. By enhancing the footprint of an ore deposit by understanding how elements move around in a system, we can use this knowledge to aid future exploration of new ore bodies, especially those undercover. My work currently focuses on the McArthur River Uranium deposit in Saskatchewan, Canada within the Athabasca Basin. However, my future plans are to work on other uranium deposits within the Athabasca Basin but also on other deposit types in different environmental settings.

Collette Pilsworth in the field

Why I chose to do graduate studies:

Through the work associated with my undergraduate thesis on the Sudbury Impact Crater, I got to work along side Vale Limited, a mineral mining company, which exposed me to how the mining world operates. In addition, the geochemical analysis associated with my undergraduate thesis made me realize that I still had a lot to learn. I have always wanted to be a part of something that could be useful to society and I was keen to pursue a research-focused degree on the application of geochemistry to economic geology. 

Why Queen’s?:

The ability to enhance the exploration of ore deposits via geochemistry was something that really attracted me to Queen’s University. Both my supervisors, Dr. Kyser and Dr. Layton-Matthews had a ton of experience and knowledge and I was very keen to learn from both of them. In addition, Queen’s University hosts the Queen’s Facility of Isotope Research (QFIR), where I would be actively encouraged to volunteer and gain hands on experience that most other graduate students do not get access to. 

Collette Pilsworth graduate student spotlightWhat do you do in your spare time?:

In my spare time, I love going to hot yoga and hanging out with my fellow students with a cold beer and pizza. I also love the Canadian winter and go ice-skating when the weather gets cold enough! 

What’s next for you?:

Overall, my short-term goal is to keep on learning and improving my knowledge. My long-term goal is to complete a PHD and bridge the gap between research and mineral exploration. Many techniques are still yet to be commonly used within mineral exploration, which could provide an advantage in the future for exploration of new ore deposits. Also, through my work within QFIR, I have discovered that isotopes are very cool and I am very excited to see what can be done with them in the future.